We dove into the Fox Mountain project in response to vigorous interest in towing compact fifth wheels with so called, “half-ton” pickups. The name half-ton is sort of a misnomer since the latest crop of lighter pickups can actually handle much more than the 1,000-pound payload suggested by the dated designation.
We settled on a Ford F-150 with very low miles that was set up to tow a 22-foot conventional trailer, and has been used by the owners to do just that for a number of years. It already had a good quality proportional brake controller and wiring, but the connection point was not in the right place for a fifth wheel.
Our biggest challenge was the bed length. The crew cab F-150 was fitted with a short bed, which complicated the process. Some manufacturers of fifth wheels round out the corners of the front cap to accommodate the turning limitations of the short bed, preventing a collision at the rear of the cab. The Fox Mountain was not set up that way, so we needed to run through a few hoops to facilitate safe towing.
In the months ahead we will bring you project topics that will include the hitch, a kingpin extender, top grade wiring, auxiliary springs, mirrors, tires, and a number of accessories to bring kayaks and bikes along—just to name a few. While we have a lot in our goody bag, I’m sure we’ll be covering tips and accessories we haven’t even thought of yet.
We’ll also be concentrating on projects that enhance the trailer’s livability, especially when parking without hookups.
Outfitting and customizing a fifth wheel, trailer, camper or motorhome to run parallel with the owner’s interests and travel habits is the most fun part of RV ownership.
Stay tuned for more from our Fox Mountain project. And Click Here for the first edition.